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GHX expands supply chain automation platform, says service can trim costs

With the new service, GHX providers have been able to on-board as many as 1,000 suppliers, company says.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Global Healthcare Exchange is now working with healthcare providers across North America to help them greatly expand the automation of supplier relationships for order automation -- a move which has the goal of reducing healthcare costs and errors.

Historically, top hospitals have been challenged to expand their automated supply chain relationships beyond suppliers that support electronic integration. Healthcare organizations can now activate all their suppliers with a new service from GHX, dubbed The Managed Service for Purchase Order Acknowledgement, or POA.

[Also: 50 healthcare organizations dubbed best in supply chain by GHX]

It supports fully electronic supply chain interactions with suppliers of all capabilities. With the new service, GHX providers have been able to on-board as many as 1,000 suppliers.

Launched earlier this year, the service addresses a time-consuming order management challenge: Securing order acknowledgements from suppliers without a fully automated electronic connection. Through a single integrated connection, POA Managed Service helps providers work electronically with its trading partners regardless of how they receive orders -- thereby reducing costs and errors, while gaining enhanced visibility into the order process.

[Also: Hospitals could save about $10 million a year in supply chain, study finds]

"The ability to automate such a large percentage of a hospital's spend can allow it to standardize procurement processes and provide greater visibility to order exceptions," said Tina Murphy, senior vice president of Global Product and Corporate Development at GHX, in a statement. "The new service is designed to help provider customers increase their organizational efficiency and improve compliance to contracts."

Managed Service POA is a component of total order management for GHX customers, providing an electronic view within the GHX My Exchange dashboard of all POAs received regardless of supplier response method -- email, fax or phone. This helps providers gain greater visibility around order status and maximize efficiency in order management. According to GHX, providers benefit by getting electronic verification of purchase orders from suppliers that do not transact orders electronically.

"The healthcare industry is in a tough spot with rising costs and shrinking reimbursements," said Murphy. "GHX is looking at the business processes within order management to identify ways that we can help the provider community increase efficiency and automation, and thereby reduce cost and increase staff time for high value activities. Providers report that they spend an estimated 10–15 percent of their time on order acknowledgements. So, the opportunity to deliver measurable value to healthcare is significant."

The new service includes training for trading partners on how to generate order acknowledgements electronically using GHX web forms; and weekly and daily dashboards highlighting program performance.

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